First Fiber Festival

This past weekend was Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, affectionately known as MDSW by its many vendors and attendees. This was my first ever festival, and it’s pretty big in the world of fiber enthusiasts. What can I say? My motto tends to be go big or go home!

There were LOTS of things I did over my weekend, so I will start with the first thing I watched once we got to the grounds. A sheep shearing demonstration. What was absolutely amazing about this demo is that the shearer did NOT use electric shears, but hand-powered shears. While he sheared another professional shearer answered questions and explained what they do and how it benefits the sheep. Here are a few of the pictures taken by me and the group of friends I went with. (More on them and what else we saw Thursday!)

Shearing by Hand

Shearing Done Shearing the sheep. The sheep didn’t make a peep!Full Coat

The full pelt after being sheared. From here it needs to be carded and spun before it can be knit or crocheted with.

Sheep backs

These guys were happily chomping on grass. They were so fluffy!Sheep

Here’s another little guy. He had already been shorn and had a blanket to keep him comfy in the drafty barn.

Sheep TrimmingThis guy was actually just getting trimmed, not sheared. He was super patient for the whole process, though.

 

So Close!

I’m so close I can almost taste it! The Gansey Wristers that I started the day before Thanksgiving are just 10 rows from being done!

In case you were wondering, that’s where I’ve been. Working (at a pace so slow that snails look like Formula 1 cars) on these mitts. I told myself no new projects, no cross stitching, no working on crochet, and no letting myself be distracted by anything I could use to procrastinate.

It’s not that I dislike the pattern. I really do like it. I enjoy the yarn I’m working with. The needle size is the range I’m most comfortable with (between 1 and 4) so that’s not why. Much like trying to get my kids to clean their rooms, I’m just ready for the next shiny thing.

On the plus side, this means you’ll be hearing from me more. Next blog post will show my favorite method for joining in the round! :)

Best Laid Plans, etc.

So, if you’ll remember back in November I wrote that this year I would absolutely NOT be knitting ANY presents? (If you don’t go read this first. Go ahead. I’ll wait.) Yeah, well joke’s on me.

It started out innocently enough. I decided I’d knit two pair of the super popular Manly Mitts for my husband’s company party gift swap. As 3 pairs had been requested (and received) by his coworkers, and it’s a quick and easy knit, I figured this would be simple enough.

Then I decided to knit 2 cup cozies for my youngest son’s PreK teachers as Christmas presents. Those were done in one long and sleepy night as I’d decided to do them a day before the last day of class.

Before all those, though, there was the cowl I knit for a friend. And the mitts I’m knitting for another friend. Said mitts are about 1/4 of the way done. Plus the thing I’m knitting for my mom, which I haven’t even cast on for yet. Oh! And the mitts I’m making for one of my youngest’s school friends.

I asked my husband the other night if I’d done the same thing last year. Apparently, yes, I had. And I’m sure I’ll do something similar next year. That’s ok because as the saying goes “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry” and if me driving myself slightly crazier is my awry, well I’ll take it. :)

What last minute knitting are you trying to accomplish in the next 15 days? Let me know!

Perfection is NOT the goal

When I first started knitting (any of the times, because it happened EVERY time) I would knit for a few rows, find a mistake or twelve, get frustrated that it wasn’t “perfect” and quit. It took me much too long to realize that perfection is NOT the goal.

The goal is to make something. The closer to the pattern/idea the happier I am, I’ll admit. Attempting to make anything by hand and have it be perfect, though? That way lies madness.

Much like people, all the best handcrafted items have some sort of flaw. And if we’re 100% honest, the maker is the ONLY person that notices the “flaw”. I’ve seen more than one post on social media that is a picture of a finished object with the maker asking “How obvious is my screw up?” and I can tell you that even after scrutiny I can NEVER find it.

So, quit trying to make it “perfect” because nobody is perfect. Make what you love in the manner that makes you happy. And know that you have flaws (which aren’t negative) so your crafted item should have at least one, too. That way it’s an accurate reflection of your beauty out in the world for others to admire.

Where…

…did October go and how are we a third of the way through November already?! I decided early on in the year this year that I would not be doing any holiday gift knitting this year. I did, though, knit this super soft and warm hat for my mother-in-law’s birthday last month! I knit her an Everglade out of a skein of Malabrigo Worsted Merino. The colorway is Alpine Pearl and it looks SMASHING on her!

Everglade Hat

I also untangled a skein of yarn for a friend. Now, I’ll admit that sometimes untangling a skein of yarn is something that makes me want to cry. Other times, I find it oddly soothing. This was one of those second times.

Before and After
Before and After

And finally! I am nearly done with my oldest current WIP. A baby blanket that I started WAY back in January. I should be done with it no later than the first of the month, when it will be sent by a awesome friend of mine to his baby nephew in New Jersey! As soon as it’s all done I’ll let you know!

What sort of excitement have y’all gotten up to while I was MIA? Let me know in the comments!

Finishing The WIP Pile

I have a bad habit of starting a large project, getting not quite halfway done, and abandoning it for something new, and portable, and quick. Startitis is totally a problem I suffer from. So, high on the feeling of finishing my Wurm, I decided to knock out the one WIP that’s been languishing in the corner since January. (Really?! Jeez, I didn’t realize it was that long!)

So the Diagonal Baby Blanket is once again back in business. It’s not that it’s a hard pattern, it just seems to go on and on and on. And on some more. Luckily I’ve got more time recently to work on it and it seems to be moving at a pretty good pace. As of right now I’m nearing my halfway point and I know from experience that the decreases go MUCH faster than the increases. There’s also the bonus that any potential leftovers will go to my son’s pre-K class to be used in art supplies! Yay!

Once I hit the 50% point I’m rewarding myself with casting on Gansey Wristers in a skein of Creating by A Verb for Keeping Warm that I received as a gift. The colorway is called Aortic and it’s a tonal in shades of red. Wristers are my second favorite knitted item (after hats) and in my opinion there’s no such thing as too many pair!

What’s your current oldest WIP? Are you pretending it doesn’t currently exist or have you decided to tackle it in the hopes that you can start the new year with a clean knitting slate? Do you have a fun project to dangle as a carrot to keep you going?

FINISHED!

It took me much longer than I wanted, but my Wurm is FINALLY FINISHED!!!!!! WOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

wurm side wurm

I’m so glad I finished this in time for the cooler weather that is coming. Eventually. It’s Florida so I’ve got awhile still, to be honest.

And since this is done it’s time for me to finish the blanket and sweater I have on the needles! I’ll most likely cast on something small and portable as well. I don’t like taking large projects out and about with me. How about you? Let me know in the comments!

Manic Monday

I officially have 2 kids in school. Thing 2 started Pre-K last week. While this will theoretically give me more time to write this lovely blog (which I have missed) and knit, so far it’s just meant I’ve had lots of labeling to do. And sewing!

My little man is a brony, and proud of it. However, it’s very difficult to find boy-ish My Little Pony things for little guys. So I made him his very own boy MLP backpack. I found a small Converse backpack that was navy blue with yellow (which is his favorite color) accents:

And I found some patches on Amazon 

 to turn it into this:

And as you can see, it made for a very happy boy on his first day of school.

In Wurm news, I’m decreasing as we speak. (Ok, not really, but humor me here. I stopped decreasing to write. :D) Tomorrow there will be pics! Is yours done? Link in the comments so I can love on your project page!

Coming Out of the Dark

For the first time in two weeks I feel like myself. Nobody tells you that even once you have the appropriate medication to help you, you still can fall down. The important thing is to keep taking your meds until you can stand back up.

Now that I’m on my own two feet again, I realized how much I missed sharing my knitting with you all. A side effect of my ennui for the past two weeks has been that I haven’t knitted more than 2 or 3 rows on my Wurm. I hope everyone else has been knitting away, because I can’t wait to see what yours looks like.

I’m about halfway done now. I’m hoping that Florida actually gets some cold spells this year so I can wear all my fabulous new hats I’ve been knitting. I might even finish my sweater before next summer! (Ambitious, I know!)

If you are Wurm-ing along with me, post your pics or link your Rav project page in the comments! I want to go spread the love I’m feeling today with all of you who’ve waited so patiently for me!

Blech

I’ve been trying to deny it all week. I didn’t want to admit it had happened. But it has.

I am in a knitting slump.

I have gorgeous yarns. TONS of patterns. Lovely notions. Pretty bags to tote around projects. Wonderful needles.

And yet. Blech.

I’m going to try to knit at least a little bit on my Wurm. I know in the past that not knitting has made knitting slumps last much longer for me than just making the thing with sticks and string.

How do you break out of your knitting slump? Have you been lucky enough to never have one? Let me know in the comments. :)

%d bloggers like this: